Surprise boost to UK CV manufacturing

Big fleet orders skew figures say industry bosses.

UK commercial vehicle production increased by 26% in November, but industry bosses cautioned against making too much of the figures.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), pointed out that low volumes associated with CV manufacturing can result in large percentage swings, particularly as the market saw particularly poor results in the previous two Novembers.

The boost was provided by the UK market. While the number of CVs built for overseas customers fell 9% in the month, production for domestic customers more than compensated, doubling to 2,070 units and helping overall manufacturing jump by a quarter.

Unusually weak performances over the same period in 2016 and 2017, and large fleet orders, fuelled the rise. Year-to-date production figures remain broadly stable, increasing 5% on 2017, with manufacturing for the domestic market up 12%, and export demand up 1%, accounting for almost 60% of total output.

“While the boost to commercial vehicle production for the home market is certainly welcome news, it is important to remember that large fleet orders can have a big impact on this small volume sector,” Hawes said.

“Despite the growth in domestic demand, exports continue to take the majority of output overall so any weakening in global markets will be a worry – maintaining the success of the sector depends on the UK remaining competitive and that means ensuring the preservation of the beneficial trading conditions we currently enjoy,” he added.

Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Van Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars and vans for more than 20 years, and attends many new model launches each year.

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.

Latest articles

Van crime falls in 2019 but still costs victims thousands

The number of vans stolen fell by 5% and thefts from vans dropped by 10% in 2019 – but the average cost of goods stolen is increasing, according to new figures.

Renault releases first details of new Kangoo

Renault has released the first details of its all-new Kangoo van, which boasts a fresh look as well as new infotainment and safety systems.

Ford unveils E-Transit

Fully electric version of the bestselling Transit range claims an estimated range of 217 miles, lower TCO and no compromise on payload.

MAN and Bevan Group team up to provide St John Ambulance vehicles

St John Ambulance is preparing to deploy a new fleet of eight specially designed logistics vehicles that will be used to provide frontline support to the NHS and local communities.

Whitby Morrison buys 55 new Mercedes-Benz Sprinters to make into ice cream vans

Crewe-based ice cream van manufacturer Whitby Morrison has taken delivery of 55 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 314 CDI chassis cabs to build ice cream bodies onto.

Can I get a service or MOT during the new lockdown?

We answer your questions about whether garages, service centres and MOT test stations can remain open during the UK's second lockdown.